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Now that we have started the new year, I have been thinking regularly about my return to work. For various reasons, most of which are financial, I plan on going back to the office on March 1.  And so the preparations - logistical, mental, and emotional - begin.

The logistics are not settled yet - but they should be soon enough.

Mental preparations are going to require some exercises to get my brain back in shape.  I had to think long and hard the other morning about what seven times seven is.  When the answer did not arrive automatically, I thought,

"Okay.  What is seven times six?  Forty-three?  Forty-three plus seven is fifty.  Fifty is not seven times seven.  Fifty is ten times five.  I get seven times six mixed up all the time.  It must be forty-two not forty-three.  Good.  Good.  So, seven plus forty-two is forty-nine.  Ah!  Seven times seven is forty-nine!  Wow that took me a long time."

And the emotional preparations have been about as circuitous as trying to remember the sevens times tables.

Since the Squish was around eight weeks old, I have left him semi-regularly (every other week) for a few hours at a time to get some much needed acupuncture.  Each of those separations has gone just fine.  I started to think of them as test runs for my return to the office four days a week, and I started to think that this time around, the transition back to the office would not feel so traumatic.

Maybe it won't.

But I took the Squish into Manhattan last week to run an errand.  At one point on the 2 train, I put down what I was reading and looked into the stroller to check on Squish.  There he was - awake and mesmerized by the lights and the posters and the sounds and the vibrations - enjoying the wilds of the MTA.  I noticed for the eighteenth time that day how perfectly round his cheeks are, how sweet his little nose is, how amazing his amazement is.  And so, in the middle of the day on the 2 train, realizing that the luxury of looking at my perfect little Squish whenever I wanted would be drastically reduced, I started to cry.

Looks like the road back to my day job from maternity leave has not actually been paved.

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